People who manage to keep their composure and sleep comfortably on an international flight deserve a medal!!! Though the first flight from Minneapolis to Amsterdam went by quickly, the second flight from Amsterdam to Cape Town has not been as forgiving! I have been running on about two hours of sleep to try and get acclimated to the 7 hour time difference. I really hope our beds are comfortable!
Complaining aside, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in such a great program. As an incoming freshmen, the possibility of studying abroad seemed so farfetched, and now here I am, a senior traveling to a continent I never thought I would visit in my lifetime, all made possible by the generosity of the College of Education & Human Development, Learning Abroad Center, Organizational Leadership Policy & Development, Office of Equity and Diversity, and the countless individuals who supported me every step of the way!
As I get closer and closer to my destination, I am reminded about the desired outcomes from the trip and have divided them into three categories: Personal, Educational/Scholarly, and Fun, what would a list be without fun!
Use trip as a personal retreat:
As my undergraduate years at the University of Minnesota come to a close, I will have to face the challenge of transitioning to the "real world." I must come to grips with my situation and will be leaving the "cushy" and comfortable environment of the undergraduate life and face the challenges of being a full-blown adult!
Traveling to South Africa will serve the purpose of removing myself from a comfortable situation both mentally and physically in order to start preparing for the next faze of my life. I will take the time to reflect on my professional aspirations, as well as my personal goals. I would also like to take the time to create short-term and long-term goals.
Identify how to carry out my passions, post-graduation:
Currently as a student, I have the luxury of participating in various points of engagement which fulfill my passion of promoting education to underrepresented students. Identifying a way to incorporate this into my life-post graduation is very important to me and is something I would definitely like to figure out by the time I get back.
Develop a better understanding of South Africa's rich history:
Although sandy beaches and fun times are ahead, I haven't lost sight of the primary goal of the trip, which is to learn about South Africa's history. Learning about the Apartheid moment, Nelson Mandela, and the current social issues faced are the primary focus of the trip.
Compare social issues South African's face to those of the Chican@/ Latin@ Community:
As a Chicano Studies Minor, I have spent my time learning about the history of the Chican@/Latin@ population here in the United States. I would like to take a look at some of the social issues and see how both groups have dealt/are dealing with these issues.
Solidify my future academic plans:
I have reached the consensus that I would really like to tontine my academic career and attend graduate school sometime in the near future. What I would like to do in South Africa is create a timeline and narrow down program options. Also, create a schedule to take the pesky exams!!
Teach someone from South Africa a bit of spanish!
This one would be pretty cool to do! Nothing to serious, just basics like hello, thank you etc. In return, I hope to learn some of the South African slang as well!
Barber at the local market!
I wanna see how good I am at negotiating a price down! Lets see how persuasive I am!
Try different foods:
Out of all my goals, this may be one should be easy1
I am a huge sports guy, and I hear rugby and cricket are popular sports in South Africa. My goal is to learn the rules of rugby and play a quick game of rugby!
Well, I can't wait to start tackling my goals once I set foot on South African Soil! 5 more hours on this flight and I will finally be in Cape Town! Thanks for reading!